In order to better understand how our human bodies are programmed to process nutrients, we need to take a look at our closest wild relatives. Based on genetic information, gorilla and human DNA only differ by 1.8 percent. Chimpanzees are a little closer to humans, as their DNA differs by only 1.6 percent. Both humans and the larger primates share many physical and social characteristics: different body size for males and females, living in family groups, and mothers caring for offspring for a long time beyond infancy. Chimpanzees are dependent on their mothers until the age of seven. Primates are also very intelligent.
All primates (including humans) share certain nutritional requirements to maintain normal function and maintain excellent health. All primates can taste sweet and see color, and share a requirement for large amounts of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and other plant-derived nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. The appreciation of sweets and the color vision attract us to and enable us to recognize ripe, fresh fruits, an important component of the natural diet of all primates. This desire of primates for variety in their diet supports nutrient diversity, enabling primates to live a long, disease-free life. Without an adequate amount of plant-derived nutrients, immune system dysfunction develops. This reduced function of the immune system occurs as a result of nutritional inadequacies, which may then result in frequent infections, allergies, and, eventually cancer. Primates share this high requirement for natural foods found in nature's cupboard, the garden or the forest. The micronutrients that fuel the primate's immune system—derived from fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and, to a lesser degree, whole grains—must form the basis of the diet in order to expect normal resistance against disease.
Veterinarians and other animal-care workers are aware that for each species of animal to thrive they must eat a diet of natural foods that is uniquely suited to the nature of the species in question.
Humans suffer greatly from misunderstanding what our nutritional requirements are. We have evolved to a level of economic sophistication that allows us to eat ourselves to death. A diet centered on milk, cheese, pasta, bread, and sugar-filled snacks and drinks lays the groundwork for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune illnesses to develop later in life. It is not merely that sugar, other sweets, white flour, cheese, and butter are harmful; it is also what we are not eating that is causing the problem.
When you calculate all the calories consumed from the typical foods most children in America eat, you find that the calories coming from natural foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables, beans, raw nuts, and seeds is less than 5 percent of their total caloric intake. This dangerously low intake of unrefined plant foods guarantees weakened immunity to disease, frequent illnesses, and a shorter lifespan.
UNPROCESSED FOODS ARE THE KEY TO OPTIMAL HEALTH
There are thousands of plant-derived nutrients that are essential for us to achieve proper functioning of our immune system. Let's look at just a few of these as an example.
Folate is found in vegetables, beans, and fruit. It is especially high in green vegetables. It was determined that the low level of folate in the modern American diet is related to an increased risk of neural tube defects in the womb. More recently, low levels of folate in the diet have been associated with other diseases as well, such as heart disease and breast cancer. It is very likely that it is not lack of folate alone that is the chief player creating this increased risk, but also the lack of many other nutrients contained in folate-rich foods. Because the American diet is so low in fruits and vegetables, medical authorities advise women of childbearing age to take folate supplements. Instead of health authorities advising women of the dangers of a diet low in folate-rich green vegetables, they instead advise folate supplementation, as if dangerously low folate levels are the only problem with our nutritionally barren diet. Thousands of other health-supporting compounds would be ingested if women received their folate from greens, not pills. Typical nutritional advice, which focuses on individual nutrients instead of whole food, perpetuates the diet style that leads to serious illnesses.
Vitamin K is also found in green vegetables. It was found that low levels of vitamin K in mothers and their newborns increases the chance that the newborn will have a brain hemorrhage soon after childbirth. Because the American diet is low in vitamin K, all children born in hospitals in America are given a vitamin K shot immediately after delivery. Again, authorities offer fragmented nutritional advice instead of placing our respect in nature's nutrient sources, whole foods. Instead of advising mothers to eat more vegetables, and receive a symphony of valuable nutrients along with the vitamin K, we resort to giving all infants a vitamin K shot.
If women were instead educated about the critical importance of eating green vegetables and fresh fruit, instead of the present-day approach of encouraging folate supplementation and then giving all babies a vitamin K shot, possibly thousands of children would have been spared the tragedy of childhood cancers, from the improved dietary habits of pregnant women. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer and, after accidents, is the most common cause of death in children. The low consumption of vegetables and fruits right before and during pregnancy has been implicated in its causation.
As humans we have certain requirements for vitamins and minerals, and scientists have discovered many of these essential micronutrients and what role they play in the body. However, rather than eating whole foods and getting these nutrients in their natural state, we most often resort to supplements. Indeed, a billion-dollar nutritional supplement industry has erupted to the point where most Americans take many different nutritional supplements in an attempt to improve their health and prevent the development of diseases. However, this has not worked too effectively; those taking vitamin supplements are not granted protection from heart disease and cancer.
The problem with this fractionated way of thinking, simply replacing one nutrient or another through supplementation, is that there is much more than merely vitamin K and folate and a handful of other vitamins and minerals that are missed by not eating the required amount of fruits and vegetables.
Clearly, the modern American diet is inadequate, and in spite of most Americans taking nutritional supplements, the percentage of our population dying from the diseases of poor nutrition has not changed significantly in the last thirty years. Heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and cancer still kill more than 80 percent of all Americans. These same diseases kill those who take nutritional supplements and those who don't. We must look at the reasons why our society, so knowledgeable about vitamins and minerals, still suffers from such a high rate of diseases related to our diet.
Eating exceptionally healthfully is the foundation of our good health. Nutritional supplements add to the diet, and are not intended to take the place of healthy eating. That is why they are appropriately called supplements. A multivitamin is still a good idea for most people, and deficiencies of these commonly known nutrients do lead to higher risks of cancer. About forty vitamins and minerals are known to be required in the human diet. Deficiencies of vitamins B12 and B6, folic acid, niacin, iron, zinc, and selenium appear to mimic radiation damage by causing single- and double-strain breaks to our DNA. Half of our population is deficient in vitamins and minerals, and these chronic low levels of nutrients lead to higher toxic elements within cells. The accumulation of these toxic by-products of metabolism accelerates cellular aging and creates an environment favorable for cancer to flourish. Low nutrient intake is a factor in the development of cancer and heart disease. Taking supplements, which supply various nutrients, may help somewhat, but it is not a sufficient solution. There is more to the cancer story.
In recent years, scientists have discovered another class of micronutrients, now called phytochemicals, that also play an indispensable role in enabling our normal defenses against cancer. The wave of new research on more than 12,000 recently identified phytochemical nutrients in natural (unprocessed) plant foods has generated excitement in the scientific community unparalleled since the first vitamin was discovered in the early 1900s. These nutrients work synergistically to detoxify cancer-causing compounds, deactivate free radicals, and enable DNA-repair mechanisms. These 12,000 or so phytochemicals play a major role in human immune system defenses. Without sufficient amounts and a wide variety of this new class of compounds, scientists noted, cells age more rapidly and do not retain their innate ability to remove and detoxify waste products and toxic compounds. This new class of antioxidant nutrient's is essential to prevent the development of degenerative diseases. We cannot acquire a sufficient amount and diversity of phytochemicals in supplements; we must get them from real food, especially because many of them have not been discovered yet. When we pass up eating fruits and vegetables, we are turning our backs on a host of nutrients that can keep us from developing disease.
THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
What we eat creates the materials to build our cells. Eventually, we are what we eat. When we eat certain foods we will achieve a body that nature designed to be disease-resistant; when we don't or when we eat the wrong foods, we may create a body that is disease-prone. The foods we eat supply us with much more than fuel. They provide the raw materials that make up our organs, including the brain. Critical nutrients make neurotransmitters and brain-cell receptors that govern how we think. Our diet supplies us with the raw materials to manufacture every cell comprising our body. These cells, to function at a high level, need thousands of different chemical compounds that combine in an amazing fashion to make the most miraculous machine ever created. When a few of these necessary compounds are missing, we usually can still survive; the human organism is resilient and adaptable, but without all the necessary components the body loses its powerful potential for wellness. As a result, chronic diseases develop.
Eating right won't simply prevent disease; it will help you live life to its fullest. Eating right will enable you to feel great every day, without stomachaches, headaches, indigestion, constipation, or a runny nose. The right nutrition can assure that we wake up fully energized and have boundless energy, perform at our best, and maintain our youthful vigor as we age gracefully. Eating healthfully can maintain your excellent health for a lifetime.
Health is normal. The human body is a self-repairing, self-defending, and self-healing marvel. Disease is relatively difficult to induce, considering the body's powerful immune system. However, this complicated and delicate machinery can be damaged if fed the wrong fuel during the formative years. The chronic diseases commonly associated with aging—hypertension, coronary artery disease, Type II diabetes, degenerative joint disease, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's, as well as most cancers—are not the inevitable outcome of the aging process; they are born out of wrong food choices earlier in life.
Healthy living with nutritional excellence throughout life can slow the decline of aging. It can prevent the years and years of suffering in ill health that is so common today as people get older and become dependent on medical treatments, drugs, and surgery. Medical intervention does very little to slow the progression of illnesses and gradual mental and physical decline. Nutritional excellence is the only real fountain of youth.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS ARE NOT ENOUGH
Modern societies live mostly on processed foods. These foods have been developed to meet the requirements of mass production, shelf life, economics, and taste acceptance. These "fake foods" no longer resemble in any way the nutritional characteristics of real food made by nature. No matter how many vitamins or minerals are added to the power bar or breakfast cereal, it still does not contain the unique combination of thousands of delicate phytonutrients found in a strawberry or leaf of lettuce.
Natural foods deteriorate rapidly, have limited shelf life, and lose many of their delicate nutrients when heated, milled, or shot out of cannons. For example, cold breakfast cereals (which may have some synthetic nutrients that were lost in processing put back in) have as much phytochemical nutritional value as the cardboard box they are found in. We have adopted an eating pattern of the worst sort, consuming the majority of our caloric intake from processed foods, which pays us back with medical problems, unnecessary suffering, and a premature death.
Though many think that disease is the result of genetics or bad fortune, the reality is that for the vast majority, we will get what we have earned. Our body is formed from the foods we have consumed in our life. A body made from refined foods, white flour, oils, sugar, and other highly processed "fake" food develops into a sickly human, with allergies and autoimmune diseases, such as colitis, psoriasis, lupus, and asthma, who suffers from indigestion, reflux, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, fibroids, tumors, and fatigue in early adulthood. Serious diseases that interfere with one's quality of life are born out of our childhood diets. Junk food isn't cheap; we pay a steep price for it years after consuming it.
THE GENETIC COMPONENT OF DISEASE
While genetics play a role in the expression of many diseases, and while we all have genetic weaknesses and predispositions, for the vast majority of diseases that occur in the modern world, nutrition, exercise, and environment play a much larger role than genetics. For example, those living in rural China have less than 2 percent heart disease risk, but when they move to America their children have the same dismal risks as other Americans. About 50 percent of Americans die of heart attacks and strokes. When we abuse our bodies, many different problems arise and what happens to you then may be influenced by your genetics.
Heart disease is a recent phenomenon in the history of mankind. By 1916 it was already hypothesized by the well-known French scientist C. D. de Langen that overeating and a cholesterol-rich diet appeared to be a factor in the populations of those European countries experiencing a rise in heart attacks. We cannot consider heart disease to be primarily genetic, because it did not occur much before the last hundred years and pockets of populations inhabiting the world today have no heart disease. By the 1950s scientific investigations were able to explain population differences in heart disease rates by differences in the consumption of saturated fat (the most important determinant of serum cholesterol) and the inverse association with consumption of fresh produce. The less saturated fat and the more fresh produce consumed, the less heart disease occurs. Over the last fifty years, this causal relationship between saturated fat and heart disease has been observed and documented by thousands of scientific studies. The reality is that heart disease, the leading cause of death in the modern world, as well as the other leading causes of death (various cancers and strokes), is created by our modern diet. Very few people have genetics so favorable that they can eat anything without concern.
You cannot escape from the biological law of cause and effect. Food choices, especially food choices early in life, are the primary cause of disease and premature death. Health predictably results from healthy living. Inferior childhood nutrition has led to a nation with high levels of chronic illnesses and out-of-control health care costs.
Americans eat about 40 percent of calories from animal products, such as meat, eggs, and dairy.
Animal products contain no antioxidants, bioflavonoids, carotenoids, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, or those thousands of phytochemicals that are essential for cellular normalcy and preventing DNA damage.
Americans eat about 50 percent of calories from processed foods such as oil, sugar, and white flour products.
Processed foods contain almost no antioxidants, bioflavonoids, carotenoids, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, or those thousands of phytochemicals that are essential for cellular normalcy and preventing DNA damage.
To make matters worse, most of the animal products eaten by children, such as cheese and milk, are exceptionally high in saturated fat. Saturated fat consumption correlates with cancer incidence worldwide. It also raises cholesterol levels and causes heart disease.
Keep in mind that it is the type of fat, not the amount of fat, that is linked to higher heart attack rates and cancer. Both epidemiologic studies and clinical trials have implicated saturated fats and trans fats as the villains for humans. They promote both heart attack and cancer.
The nutrition committee of the American Heart Association has declared, There is overwhelming evidence that reduction in saturated fat, dietary cholesterol and weight offer the most effective dietary strategies for reducing total cholesterol, LDL levels and cardiovascular risk. There is no biological requirement for saturated fat.
In fact, populations with diets with little or no saturated fat have little or no heart disease. The development of heart disease begins in childhood. Not only do unhealthy childhood diets high in saturated fat and low in the protective micronutrients found in unprocessed plant foods accelerate heart disease, but they promote the aging process, and create a cellular environment favorable for the development of cancer.
How to protect your child from SARS and seasonal diseases in winter
How to protect your child from SARS and seasonal diseases in winter
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The adult's task is to explain and teach the child how to behave correctly and observe all safety precautions. Anna Babayan, a pediatrician at the National Medical Research Center for Children's Health, of the Russian Ministry of Health, talks about how to protect a child from SARS and other diseases in the winter.
Children tend to copy the behavior of adults, so it is very important to be the right example for them.
Clean hands are a guarantee of health for both adults and children. Hands should be washed every day, several times (on average 5-6). The World Health Organization (WHO) prioritizes handwashing as the first line of defense against infection. Teach your child to wash their hands often and properly. This must be done with soap and at least 20-30 seconds. There are many educational videos on the Internet that will help you convey the main points to your child in a playful way. You can replace the cloth towel with a disposable paper towel and throw it away after use. If soap and water are not available, the child should be able to use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol (up to 80%).
Teach your child to coat all hand surfaces with disinfectant and rub hands together until they are dry. For children under 5 years of age, the use of antiseptic solutions is not desirable, since alcohol-containing solutions dry the skin and can cause irritation.
Children under 14 years of age should use hand sanitizers under adult supervision.
If allergic skin reactions are detected, use should be discontinued immediately.
Parents often ask if it is possible to use antiseptics without alcohol? They contain chlorhexidine, and it does not kill viruses, only some bacteria.
Rule number two - teach your child to blow his nose and cough properly. Teach your children the importance of being able to sneeze and cough correctly. In no case should this be done “into the air”, it is necessary to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue every time you sneeze and cough. Let the bag always contain a pack of disposable handkerchiefs, which after use must be thrown into the trash can.
Rule number three is social distancing.
Of course, maintaining social distance in children's groups is practically impossible. Despite this, repeated repetition of the importance of this rule can be beneficial.
After the departure of children from distance learning to kindergartens and schools, employees developed schemes to minimize the risk of infection: this is a strict separation of children in rooms, avoiding crossing children in common areas, reducing teaching hours.
There are also a number of actions that are important to take at home:
- it is necessary to limit the time of playing with other children;
- exclusion of joint shopping trips without unnecessary need.
Rule number four - wearing masks.
WHO recommends that children under 5 years of age not be required to wear masks for the safety and best interests of the child and the inability to use a mask in an appropriate manner with minimal assistance.
Children from 6 years to 11 years of age should wear masks in crowded places, places of increased risk of infection under adult supervision. Children over the age of 12 must wear masks as adults.
The child must understand that the mask is important and necessary. Children, as adults, should not be shy or inconsiderate about wearing masks in public places, it should become a daily ritual, as routine as brushing your teeth.
Manufacturers of personal protective equipment every day invent and produce products that are comfortable and adapted for children. Disposable medical masks should be changed every two to three hours, they are not intended to be reused.
Do not forget that your own example is one of the keys to success!
How to protect a child from "winter diseases"?
September 10, 2014
Late autumn, winter and early spring are the seasons of the greatest rise in the incidence of the so-called cold, although it can be ill at any time of the year. Children under the age of 6 are most susceptible to colds - their illness lasts longer (14 days on average) and they get sick more often (up to 12 times a year!) - almost every second day. Of course, children attending kindergarten or kids who have brothers or sisters of "garden" age in the family get sick somewhat more often than "home" children. No matter how strange it may sound, the majority of frequently ill children with immunity are all right. In early school age, the frequency of colds decreases sharply.
What is a cold? This is an acute disease caused by viruses. There are a lot of varieties of viruses, for example, the most common - rhinovirus - has about 100 types. If you fall ill with one of them, you acquire immunity against this particular virus, but the next time you can get sick again, because. encountered another pathogen. The flu virus also causes an illness that is indistinguishable from the common cold, except that it is more severe and more likely to cause complications.
Everyone knows the symptoms of a cold - a runny nose, cough, sometimes a sore throat, a rise in temperature, and feeling unwell. The disease in children lasts up to 2 weeks (fever - usually no more than 3 days, cough and nasal congestion last longer) and resolves on its own. How to protect yourself from a cold?
Most viruses are transmitted directly from a sick person to a healthy one. The fact is that viruses can live outside the body for up to 2 hours, for example, on the surface of the hands. When shaking hands, pathogens are transmitted to another person. Once he touches his nose or eyes after that, infection occurs, followed by a short incubation period and the disease itself. The same thing happens upon contact with surfaces (toys, dishes, clothes, furniture, doorknobs, etc.). Oddly enough, but only some of the viruses (for example, influenza) are transmitted by inhalation of microscopic particles of saliva and mucus (during sneezing and coughing). Therefore, frequent hand washing is considered a more effective method of preventing colds than wearing a mask.
Are there effective medications to prevent SARS? Unfortunately no. Conducted in the West, clinical studies of some common drugs (echinacea, vitamin C, zinc preparations) showed the absence of any effect from their use, with the exception of side effects. Interferon preparations and other antiviral drugs recommended for use in our country have not undergone blind placebo-controlled trials, so it is currently impossible to judge their effectiveness. As for the flu vaccine, it significantly (proven by numerous clinical trials) reduces the incidence of influenza, but not other acute respiratory viral infections. And since influenza often leads to complications (the most common is pneumonia), this vaccine is highly recommended for use in children under 5 years of age (in particular, such recommendations are given by the American Academy of Pediatrics).
Thus, the most effective means of preventing acute respiratory viral infections are hand washing, avoiding contact with people with a cold, and preventing infected aerosols from getting on mucous membranes (eyes, nose). The most effective way to prevent influenza is vaccination.
What should I do if my child does get SARS or the flu? How to behave? Here are some simple rules:
Do not walk outside until at least one day has passed since the last rise in temperature. Do not walk during a temperature: clothing can increase it
Do not visit children's institutions, relatives, in general, try not to infect other people. It must be borne in mind that even after the temperature has disappeared, a child or an adult can shed a virus that can infect others for another 5 days.
Do not force feed a child - it is better to offer the food that he loves most, adhering to age-related nutritional norms if possible: children, even healthy ones, are harmful to fried foods "with a crust", chips, seasonings.
Try to increase the amount of liquid you take, but again, do not drink by force: drinking plenty of water will not speed up your recovery, but you can spoil your mood after persistent attempts to drink.
The physical activity of a child with SARS and staying at home should not be limited - as a rule, children move a lot when they can, and prefer to lie down when they feel bad. At the same time, after SARS, the body needs to be allowed to recover - for about a week, post-infectious asthenic syndrome can be observed - which means that you will have to skip classes in the sports section.
You can watch TV in the same way as usual - no more than 1.5 hours a day.
When is it time to introduce complementary foods?
What rashes need attention?
Any changes in the child's skin cause concern for parents and require a doctor's examination. There are rashes that often occur in childhood, do not pose any health hazard and do not require treatment. But there are those in which you need to call an ambulance and take the child to the hospital.
Now - not only milk: how to start complementary foods correctly
How to properly introduce complementary foods is perhaps one of the most pressing issues that worries parents. How to introduce complementary foods correctly? Where to begin? GMS Clinic pediatrician Fadeeva Maria Vladimirovna talks about all the nuances of introducing complementary foods in an interview for Stolichka Pharmacy.
Vaccination of children: everything parents need to know about vaccinations
Oleg Togoev, pediatrician, allergist-immunologist and part-time medical director of GMS Clinic, tells the whole truth about vaccination of children. He explains why you should not be afraid of vaccinations, how to prepare for routine immunization, and the difference between domestic and imported components.
What do parents of boys need to know?
Opening the glans penis in a child under five years of age can damage the foreskin and cause scar tissue to develop.